Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 114-111 win in Game 2 vs. Blazers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 114-111 win in Game 2 vs. Blazers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- For much of the season, the Warriors' complacency has led to massive letdowns. Game 2 of the Western Conference finals almost provided Golden State's latest contribution to the trend, but the Warriors came back to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in a 114-111 win Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

Despite facing a 15-point halftime deficit, Golden State rallied in the fourth quarter, capped by a strong defensive stand in the final seconds by Andre Iguodala that gave the Warriors a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series.

That lead should give the Warriors some comfort as they head to Portland for Games 3 and 4 this weekend.

For now, here are the takeaways from an entertaining Game 2. 

Warriors take the fourth quarter

After coasting for much of the night Golden State, finished the game on a 14-3 run that was keyed by the defensive exploits of Draymond Green. He passed, blocked and shot the Warriors back into a game the team had no business winning. 

It's fitting Green was crucial down the stretch. After Kevin Durant went out with a calf injury in Game 5 of the NBA playoff second-round series with the Houston Rockets, Green averaged 12 points, 10.6 rebounds and 7.6 rebounds entering Thursday evening.

“If we compete can’t nobody can beat us, and even sometimes when we don’t compete people still can’t beat us," Green told reporters during a routine regular-season media scrum two months ago.

He proved those words to be true once again Thursday.  

Splash Brothers arrive

The opposition is usually in trouble when just one of either Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry has a high-scoring game. Both showed up for Golden State on Thursday.

Thompson scored 13 of his 24 points in the third quarter -- helping the Warriors overcome a 15-point deficit -- while Curry finished with a game-high 37. 

With Kevin Durant out for at least the rest of the series, the scoring burden will fall on these two, which will certainly prompt a sense of nostalgia from Warriors fans. But if they can continue their binge from Game 2, Golden State should be in good shape. 

[RELATED: Sonya Curry was too nervous before Game 2]

Complacency rears its ugly head

Lack of focus has hindered Golden State since the season began eight months ago. It manifested once again in the second quarter Thursday, as the Warriors were outscored 34-21.

Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who the Warriors kept scoreless through the first 12 minutes, scored 10 points in the second frame. That included three moonshots from 3-point range, helping the Blazers to a 65-50 lead into halftime. 

While the Warriors dominated the rest of the way, their second-quarter performance was indicative of their lackadaisical-at-times mindset that appeared throughout the season. They can beat just about anyone in the league when they're engaged, but when they aren't, they can be beaten down the line. 

Warriors announce 2019 NBA Summer League roster, broadcast schedule

Warriors announce 2019 NBA Summer League roster, broadcast schedule

The Warriors announced their roster and broadcast schedule for NBA Summer League in Sacramento and Las Vegas.

They will play in the California Classic in Sacramento:

-July 1 vs the Kings at 8 p.m.
-July 2 vs the Lakers at 6 p.m.
-July 3 vs the Heat at 12 p.m.

And then in Las Vegas:

-July 5 vs the Hornets at 6 p.m.
-July 6 vs the Raptors at 9 p.m.
-July 8 vs the Lakers at 8:30 p.m. (on NBC Sports Bay Area)
-July 10 vs the Nuggets at 8:30 p.m.

The roster includes 2018 first-round pick Jacob Evans and 2019 draft picks Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic and Eric Paschall.

Additionally, big man Damian Jones -- the No. 30 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft -- will suit up in Sacramento only.

Jones sustained a torn pectoral muscle on Dec. 1 and didn't return until the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Jimmer Fredette -- the No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft (Klay Thompson went No. 11) -- will take the floor for the Dubs.

[RELATEDOutsiders Film Room: How Dubs first-rounder Poole can help]

The 30-year-old played in China the past three seasons before finishing the 2018-19 campaign with the Phoenix Suns.

The full roster:

NO

PLAYER

POS

HT

WT

BORN

PRIOR TO NBA/FROM

NBA EXP.

00

Ky Bowman

G

6-1

188

6/16/97

Boston College/USA

R

40

Malik Dunbar

F

6-6

230

1/27/96

Auburn/USA

R

10

Jacob Evans III

G

6-6

210

6/18/97

Cincinnati/USA

R

33

Jimmer Fredette

G

6-2

195

2/25/89

Brigham Young University/USA

6

15

Ebuka Izundu

C

6-10

232

6/28/96

Miami/Nigeria

R

25

Damian Jones*

C

7-0

245

6/30/95

Vanderbilt/USA

2

18

Dedric Lawson

C-F

6-9

235

10/1/97

Kansas/USA

R

19

Kevin McClain

G

6-3

190

10/21/96

Belmont/USA

R

7

Eric Paschall

F

6-9

255

11/4/96

Villanova/USA

R

3

Jordan Poole

G

6-5

195

6/19/99

Michigan/USA

R

31

Davon Reed

F-G

6-5

208

6/11/95

Miami/USA

2

22

Malachi Richardson

F-G

6-6

205

1/5/96

Syracuse/USA

3

44

Brandon Sampson

G

6-5

184

5/1/97

LSU/USA

1

6

Alen Smailagic

C-F

6-10

215

8/18/00

Santa Cruz Warriors (G League)/Serbia

R

8

Juan Toscano-Anderson

F

6-6

209

3/10/93

Marquette/USA

R

20

Travis Wear

F

6-10

230

9/21/90

UCLA/USA

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Why Rockets' reported Jimmy Butler pursuit might be good for Warriors

Why Rockets' reported Jimmy Butler pursuit might be good for Warriors

The Warriors are wounded. Battered and broken the NBA's most feared superpower will limp into next season more vulnerable than ever before. 

Kevin Durant will miss all of next season with a ruptured Achilles and could be gone forever if he chooses to bolt in free agency. Klay Thompson (torn ACL) will be out until at least February and also has the option to find a new home this summer.

With the weakened Warriors hobbling into next season, the West's other teams are salivating at the opportunity to knock off Goliath. First, the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis, Then, the Utah Jazz landed Mike Conley.

Now, the Houston Rockets, looking to fix their gluttony of issues, reportedly are hoping to add a third star to the seemingly fragile James Harden-Chris Paul core. 

With Jimmy Butler hitting free agency Sunday, the Rockets reportedly are trying to "recruit Jimmy Butler" to get the Philadelphia 76ers to agree to a sign-and-trade, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday, citing league sources. 

Since the Rockets don't have the salary cap space to sign Butler outright or absorb his contract in a trade, Houston would need to send two of the following players out in a deal: Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.

Daryl Morey is one to take risks. Two summers ago, the Rockets general manager was confident Houston had something up its sleeve and the Rockets landed Paul. 

Now, with rumors of discontent between his two stars, Morey is looking to add a third star to the mix in order to calm the waters and vault Houston to the top of the conference pecking order. 

But would landing Butler be the home run the Rockets think it is?

A deal for Butler would zap Rockets of their depth. Gordon arguably was their second best player in the second-round NBA playoff loss to the Warriors, giving them deadly 3-point shooting a tough-minded defender on the wing.

Capela is an important piece of what Houston does, especially on the defensive end. With Paul aging and Harden being relatively disinterested in playing defense for long stretches, Capela's rim protection was a vital part of the Rockets' team. His absence would be one that could be exploited by teams during a playoff series.

Losing Tucker might be the biggest blow. Tucker's versatility, toughness and defensive acumen have been a key to the Rockets' run over the past two seasons. His role as the Rockets' Draymond Green in their "South Beach 5" lineup allowed Houston to matchup with the Warriors' "Hamptons 5" lineup better than any other team. There aren't many P.J. Tucker's floating around the NBA landscape.

Butler no doubt is a talented offensive player and would give the Rockets second-star insurance as Paul continues to slip into the next phase of his career. But the addition of Butler also would give Houston another ball-dominant player in an isolation-focused offense, something that already has caused friction between Harden, Paul and head coach Mike D'Antoni.

Butler also isn't captain chemistry, so adding his abrasive personality to the mix feels like a recipe for disaster.

Morey is dreaming big, and acquiring Butler could push the Rockets past the hobbled Warriors next season. But the move also would lock the Rockets into a roster that would be expensive and highly combustible.

There's also no guarantee a core of Harden, Butler and an aging Paul, with little bench support, would be able to beat the Warriors once they are fully healthy.

Even if Durant leaves in free agency -- which seems more likely than not -- the Rockets still wouldn't be seen as heavy favorites over the Warriors. They'd have sacrificed their depth, especially on the wings, and their best defensive players in the name of star power. Star power that still would struggle to bother Steph Curry and Thompson. Star power that hasn't proven it can win when the lights are brightest.

If Durant does return to the Warriors then Golden State will find their once-feared rival has turned into a trio of bickering superstars and a host of veteran minimum contracts. With Trevor Ariza, Luc Mbah a Moute, and two of Capela, Gordon, and Tucker gone, the team that was built to beat the Warriors would be no more. Another what if in the history of NBA teams that bungled their shot at the title.

[RELATED: Can KD find better situation than Warriors?]

In their pursuit of the crown, the Rockets are looking to take a team that was primed to take down the Dubs, and turn it into an entity that might only be championship-worthy if the EA Sports theme song played before opening tip.

Houston is swinging for the fences, but adding Butler might not be the home run it thinks it is. In fact, adding Butler could be the final nail in the coffin for the Harden-D'Antoni Rockets as we know them.